If I asked you if you were prepared, I would expect you to ask me for what?
Clearly, the message of this 2nd Sunday of Advent is that we are to be prepared — and that God sent — and sends — messengers to help us prepare. For what does God want us to be prepared? For what is God preparing us?
As I look around my house, I have more decorations and décor out than at any time over the past 10 years. Most of my Christmas cards are mailed — and I will soon finish this pleasurable part of being in touch with friends and family.
Gift giving is secondary to spending time with family and friends — and plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including menus, is fairly well set. Gifts to be shared are purchased.
So — I can say, I am very well prepared for the celebration of the Christmas holiday.
AND, I KNOW THE UNEXPECTED CAN happen and I need to be prepared for those things, too. Last week at this time, I certainly did not think that someone would pull out of a parking lot into the street — leaving car repairable, but not drive able. I did not think I would wake up on December 8th to almost 2 inches of snow in my yard. BUT, BOTH THINGS DID HAPPEN.
I can get as prepared as possible for a meeting in Baton Rouge on Monday. I can be as prepared as possible to bring my “dish” to the work social. AND, I better be ready — and prepared for the unpredictable, the unexpected.
In looking closely at the scripture of this weekend [Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 and Mark 1:1-8], we see that the message is for us to PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD. This call this weekend is not about us getting ourselves prepared — it is not about watching — it preparing the WAY OF THE LORD. The message of John the Baptist — is to ready a way for the Savior — one greater than John — one greater than each of us.
We are called to make sure that ….
- God is the focus — not only for the Season — but for our lives. More than any project or task facing us … we declare that serving God is most important.
2. God is working through us — what we do is NOT ABOUT ME — it is about God working through me. John declares that the one who is to come is so different, that he (John) is not worthy to loosen the sandal strap of the one to come.
So, as a teacher, God wants to use me — to bring his word, to be a messenger, to be a witness.
So, as a parent, God wants to raise children in his image — to allow children to experience the love of God through me.
So, as a business person – God wants me to build his kingdom — to make a fair profit, to pay a just wage, to make the community a better place.
3. To live the values of our God — “to conduct ourselves in holiness and devotion.” (2 Peter 3:8-14) This means we have to let go of grudges, we have to accept responsibility for our actions and not blame someone else, to resolve to use my talents to benefit others.
4. To know that one day this earth and everything on will pass away — but before then, it is likely that I will pass away. My years are limited — that I live “ready” for that unexpected day. I am not glum — I appreciate everything I have and every person around me. I am grateful — but I do not live as if I have a guaranteed 45 more years.
Prepare the Way of the Lord.